Judas Priest Explains How New Mobile Game 'Road to Valhalla' Is Part of Metal's 'Great Escapism'
Judas Priest is taking fans to Odin's lair with a new mobile game, Judas Priest: Road To Valhalla.
The adventure -- available now (July 19) via the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch -- allows players to use song stems from Priest's 2016 Battle Cry live album to create new songs to battle characters from Priest's songs and album art to advance through the game until they reach the mythical Valhalla.
Priest favorites such as "You've Got Another Thing Comin'," "Breaking The Law," "Electric Eye," "Turbo Lover," "Painkiller" and, of course, "Halls Of Valhalla" are featured as part of the game, which was developed by Babaroga in partnership with the band, Trinifold Management LLC UK and Sony Music Entertainment.
"It's like a little microcosm of that world we've created with the characters over these years that come to life in a very good way," frontman Rob Halford tells Billboard. "The people that made it did a fantastic job, 'cause you don't want people to go, 'Oh, that's cheesy.' You want it to feel like people are really getting lost in the whole thing, and that can be kind of difficult to do on a small phone. But with this you can put your ear buds in and turn it up full and get lost on the Road To Valhalla for as long as you can before the boss taps you on the shoulder and tells you to get back to work."
Most appealing to Halford and his bandmates is Road To Valhalla's music creation component. "You need to have some weight there, with the music," Halford explains. "All the songs that were incorporated are great songs. It's quite challenging, and it's a lot of fun. You can make it quite simple, which I choose, or some of these crazy maniacs can do extraordinary things. It's really a first for us, so we're excited to see what kind of shenanigans that fans will get up to with this particular event."
And when they get to Valhalla? "It's full of the great attributes of metal with lots of fire, lots of mountains, lots of smoke and lots of color and speed and excitement as you're making the journey," Halford says. "Along the way you're attacked by all these incredible beasts, a lot of whips and chains and motor bikes and tour buses. I think this is part of the great escapism that we try to make with metal. You can actually be part of the experience rather than just listening with this."
While fans are escaping they can also prepare for the arrival of Priest's next album, the follow-up to 2014's Redeemer Of Souls. Though not expected until the spring of 2018, Halford says the set is mostly finished and "is going through those last pieces of machinery" -- including what he calls "some killer artwork." Halford is staying mostly mum about the music itself, but he allows that, "We worked really hard on this one to make a really strong follow-up. It's another big step for lots of different reasons -- but that's all I can say or I'll risk being put in the Tower of London for talking about it too much."